My son was not a great athlete, but he tried. He really tried. He was a wrestler, and he may have won more than he lost, but I remember the biggest meet of his life. He lost. He went up against a guy who just completely tooled him, and during that match, his body was bent in so many ways. Afterwards, he went over and leaned against the wall, with a towel over his head, and he was just heart broken. You could just see it. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life was look at him there, leaning against that wall.
On the ride home, I knew I should be quiet, and we didn’t say anything for a few miles until my son asked, “Dad, do you want to talk?” I told him it was his call. And this is what he said, “I enjoy sports, but I’m just not a competitive athlete. I like them, but not like my friends do. It just doesn’t mean enough. I like music, and I like to write, and deep down I’m good with who I am.”
As a dad, I’m not sure it gets much better than that conversation in the car. For some reason, I am reminded of Mother Theresa’s line that, “We aren’t capable of great things, only small things with great love.” It was a bunch of small things that helped my son understand himself, and for that I am so grateful for the people who taught and coached him at this school.